Sunday, January 30, 2011

Reading Response

Reading Response: The Acropolis
After doing this past weeks reading on Ching 113-150, Roth 220-245, and Hersey the place that stuck out the most to me what that of the Acropolis.  I decided to concentrate only on it for this weeks reading response. 

The Acropolis:

By definition the Acropolis is the elevated plateau or citadel containing the principal municipal and religious buildings of a city.  The ancient citadel of Athens, the site of the Erechtheion, the Parthenon, and other temples.  It means the “top” “city”.

- Two levels for the north and east porches
- Plain opening on west wall
- Small door on south wall
- External stairs on northern side was dedicated to Zeus
- Athena is facing east
- Erechtheion was the most unusual
- Stood over a sacred spot
- Athena Nike was the smallest and least important
- Temples were for worshiping Gods
- Focal point of Panathenaia festival
- One building is the most important
- On the very top of the mountain
- Burned and destroyed by the Persians in 480 BCE
- Ideal spot for temples
- Horizontally built of stone
- Nike temple is the first element seen
- Temple for Athena Parthenos was the largest
- Located in Athens, Greece

Above: The Acropolis.

 I think that the Acropolis affects me and the design of today because of the way in which it is organized and the site that it is located on.  This is shown in so many layouts of buildings in today’s society all across the world.  Being that the most important and most powerful building is at the top and the tallest.  This can be seen on the UNCG campus in comparison to the Acropolis.  On the campus the Jackson Library tower is the tallest and most centralized building.  It brings all other buildings and the students together being that it is a place to study and do research.

TEN Ideas Applied To The UNCG Campus.

After learning all week about the acropolis and the xianyang palace and comparing the two of them I took those collective ideas and applied them to the UNCG campus using the following ten ideas:

Space: When thinking about the overall space of the campus I think of how the buildings are arranged and spaced out.  They seem to all be organized in such a way that there is an even array of walking area in between and around the whole campus around the buildings.  The space of everything was designed in this way so that students would have plenty of space to learn inside buildings, but also so they would have just as much space to be outdoors and have plenty of space to walk and for transportation.

Power: Power is shown quite a bit around campus with many of the buildings being rather tall in height.  The tallest building I think would be the Jackson Library tower.  The reason I think that this building was designed to be the tallest is because it is located basically at the center of campus, therefore it will be known by everyone if it is the tallest.  Not only this, but also being that it is a library they would want this to be the tallest to show that it is the most important part of campus.  It is a place where nearly every goes or will go to study and to research information.  It is like a place that ties every class and classroom buildings together all in this one library showing it’s powerfulness.

Experience:  When thinking about experience on the campus I think of how experienced the campus truly is, being that it has been around for quite some time now.  Therefore with the experience that the builders have, they definitely know what they are doing.  When building and constructing new buildings around campus, based on their past experience they can make them in a way that will be beneficial to the rest of the campus. 

Principles:  Some of the principles of the campus are using repetitively about the campus.  Principles are used in so many of the buildings.  Like for example things that they have always done and always will continue to do.  Design principles are used to help people to continue to keep them the same for years to come.

Precedent:  The precedent of the UNCG is that of that fact that although it does not have a clear physical border showing where the campus is, it has a border that one can get a sense of by the feeling it creates.  It is also shown by where the campus is located.  This gives it a nice balance. 

Site:  The “site” that UNCG is located on is one of great importance.  It is in a location that has the best of both worlds.  It is conveniently close to the main city of Greensboro, yet still fairly close to many people’s homes, including my own.  It is like the city and the outskirts all in one.  This makes it appeals for many types of people, from many different backgrounds.

Order:  Order can be found all around the campus, on each building and on all of the buildings together as a whole.  Each building has a certain order to them because of the way in which the windows, doors, and other features of the building are arranged.  They are in a certain order for convenience and appeal.  The order of all of the buildings on campus is so that typically the majority of the dorms are in one area; the eating-places in another and the buildings where classes are held are in the same location.  The campus is in this order for convenience and organization.

Scale:  The scale of the buildings compared to the people has certainly changed a great deal over the years.  When the buildings were first being built the scale of them was much smaller in size.  Now the scale of them has grown so much and will continue to.  The scale has gotten much larger because each year things have to be built to a bigger scale in order to accommodate for more and more students on this expanding campus.

Technology:  I think that technology is one of the key factors of the UNCG campus.  There is no escaping it, everywhere you go on campus there is technology present in form or another.  Technology is so prominent in the way each building is built.  All buildings are built based on it.  If you were to compare the first buildings built on campus to the newest ones, you would notice such a great improvement in technology.  It has come such a long way and will only continue to improve more and more as the UNCG campus ages. 

Surface:  The surface of the buildings around campus has in some ways changed yet stayed the same as well.  The original buildings that were first built on campus were all brick on the surface, many with columns.  Now they are still using brick to build some of the buildings, but not all.  Some are made of stone and other materials.  They now look so much more modern and more pleasing in appearance.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Social Media Research On Qatar.

After researching Qatar in general and the social networking in Qatar I found out many new things that I had no knowledge of at all before.  When I first found out that this was the country I was required to do my research on, my initial reaction was that I had no idea where it was located or even what it was for that matter.  Therefore, all of the things I found out about it were new and interesting to me.

One of the main things that I kept coming across when doing my research was that Qatar had the highest facebook support of any bid to try to get the FIFA World Cup to be held there in 2022.  So far there are almost six hundred thousand supporters of this facebook page.  There is also a twitter page created for this same event.  The twitter has almost four thousand followers thus far.  The fact that this countries bid is currently the highest shows that quite a lot of people using popular social networking sites have been viewing this and keeping up with it.  Not only have people who live in the country of Qatar been “liking” it on facebook, but eleven other countries have been supporting it as well.  The common age group of the supporters is from individuals between the ages of thirteen and twenty-four, with most of them being females.  This I find to be a very interesting statistic because it shows that the majority of the people using facebook seem to be very young.  Compared to USA I think that the facebook users here have a much broader age group.  Another shocking statistic that I found was that there are roughly one hundred and twenty five million facebook users in the United States and only fifteen million in Middle East and North Africa.  This truly shows that facebook is much more of a common thing in America.  It shows that our lives revolve so much around it that for some people it consumes their life.  But in other countries such as Qatar it is not nearly as much of a priority and it is something that they do not need to fulfill their daily lives.  That is nothing less than what I expected though.  I have always thought that other countries did not rely on the internet and social networking in particular for things that we do here.  I actually think that it is a good thing that Qatar does not have nearly as many users because there are so many more important things in life that one should focus on.  I am not saying that facebook is a bad thing, but I think that it is good that not very many people in this country have a facebook account.

I also found a news article about a girl from Qatar who has a secret identity online.  In real life she is a seventeen-year-old Syrian girl but online she has multiple identities.  Online she does not share her name, age, or where she is from.  No one online viewing her social networking sites knows who she really is.  She sees her online identity as being someone she is not in real life; she thinks she is more interesting to people online.  To her it is like an entirely new world when she is online.  This I find to be a bad thing, I feel like if this one girl is doing it imagine how many other people around the world that are as well.   It brings the question to mind, do we really know whom we are talking to when we are conversing with others online?  We can only hope that we do.  While viewing the article about this girl I found a few more interesting statistics.  There are nearly fifty six million internet users in the Arab world; this number is expected to double with in the next three years.  That shows that the internet is expanded so much and will soon consume many people’s lives.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Circles. Groups. Stacks. On Campus.

After walking around nearly everywhere on campus I saw many objects, spaces and buildings that take the form of circles, groves, and stacks.  I noticed lots of principles such as repetition, contrast, emphasis, unity, harmony, balance, and proportion.  The following examples were ones that stuck out the most to me.  The question that I was supposed to explore was that of do environments influence RITUALS or do rituals influence ENVIRONMENTS?  After reading this question I was ultimately confused about which I thought it was.  The first thing that came to my mind was that it could possibly be both.  I think that it all depends on the situation and the circumstances.  But if I absolutely had to pick one I would say that environments influence rituals.  The reason I think this is because the environment around us basically is huge factor on everything that we do in our day to day lives.  We wouldn't do many things if it weren't for the environment causing us to.

Examples of CIRCLES:
The above pictures of the top of the Elliot University Center, the fountain, the steps around the fountain, and the music building all show examples of circles.  The fountain is known as a central location in front of the dining hall where people often gather and meet with others.  All around the fountain is brick steps that get smaller and smaller the farther up, with the fountain at the very top and center.  This shows that the fountain is supposed to be the most important and most focused on aspect of this particular area, being that it is at the top.  Just like how it always has been in previous centuries.  Not only are there circles all around the fountain, but they also provide a great example of stacking.  The water aspect of this fountain gives me a great sense and feeling of the connection with nature.  The top of the music building and the EUC both are a circular shape.  I think this was done because they are both prominent tall buildings.  This makes you look up at them and feel like they are taller than the things around them.

Examples of GROUPS:
The two pictures above show examples of grouping.  The first picture shows stacking because of the six vertical columns that are placed directly in front of it.  They seem to show a sense of guidance as to where someone should travel.  In this case it is where one should enter the building, these help to guide you to that.  They also make the building feel much taller and elongated than it actually might be.  These vertical objects in many cases are to represent people and tree's reaching vertical.  In front of the dining hall there are also vertical poles on each side suggesting that the entrance to the building is in between them.  In the picture the verticalness also gives a great sense of height and they are a highly important aspect in my opinion.

Examples of STACKS:

The pictures above where things around campus that I felt were strong and clear examples of stacking.  Just like the area around the fountain, these concrete step like platforms in front of the building show stacking.  They begin large at the bottom and gradually get smaller as they go up.  Showing that the platform on the top is what one should focus on.  The Foust building is a wonderful example of stacking being that it has many layers, each stacked on top of the one before it.  With each layer or floor having different meanings.  The first floor is for business, the second school and the third is a celebration of everything.  The reason i think they put them in this order is because what is at the highest part at the top is what they intended to be the most important.  The second picture of a residence hall hall has stacking on each floor of it, making it stretch all the way to the top.  This idea is very similar to the Jackson Library because in both of these you can clearly see each level exemplified by stacking and windows.  In my opinion these two buildings aren't about the top layer or floor being the most important.  Each floor seems to serve the same purpose.  You can also tell this because all of the windows on every floor are the same size.  If they were different sizes then it each level would be of different importance.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nabta Playa Egypt + The Stone Circle

This is a map of Egypt showing specifically where Nabta Playa is located.

The above photographs are of the Nabta Playa circle, showing the way it appeared. 

This specific place in Egypt is known as an archaeological site that can be found in the western deserts of southern Egypt.  During 9000 BCE this was next to a large lake with pastured shores, today however it is quite the opposite, it is a inhospitable desert.  The sites contents were a circle of slender upright stones and the main stones were four pairs set close together.  Two of the stone pairs are aligned north-sotuh and the other pairs were northeast-southwest.  This helped with the observation and the motion of the sun including the constellation Orion.  The purpose of the ancient stonehenge remained the same as the later one, that was to organize time according based on the seasons.  It is said that this lines up with the Tropic of Cancer This is a place that played a very large role in culture.  Its natural resources effect culture greatly.  This was a place that is known as having one of the earliest identifiable domestic cattle which was important to the cattle-raising of the local economy.  The Egyptian culture had a very vertical social structure from the beginning relating to the cattle culture.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Blog Header

After being assigned the project of making a new blog header that represents me as a designer I ultimately thought of a camera.  This is something that never fails to keep me inspired.  Whether I am actually photographing things I see and encounter or viewing photographs that have already been taken by either me or other peoples, I am constantly thinking.  Doing this allows my mind to really think and explore endless possibilities, I become a more creative individual.  This header is similar to the last one in many ways but it is different because we now are about to use the computer to explore many fonts.  The reason I chose the fonts that I did was because one font is very girly, fun and bubbly.  The other font is very plain, simple and to the point.  These are both like me at different times.  Just like last semester I find this project to be interesting and a great way to show who I am!